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Millennials want to be homeowners. It’s more a matter of finances than desire.

It’s time to kill the idea that millennials don’t want to buy homes.

The notion may have sounded legit after the Great Recession cleaved its pound of flesh. The carnage gave many real estate veterans the jitters, so what young person would want to risk that kind of pain?

Time and again members of the younger generation say they’d be happy to buy homes. And many are.

For several years, the group under 37 years old has made up the largest slice of home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

For those who haven’t taken the plunge, it’s often not a lack of desire, but more about finances.

Many milliennials who entered the workforce a decade ago struggled to find good jobs, thanks to double-digit unemployment. They didn’t start saving for down payments until the economy improved.

Student loans and low wages play a role, too. And many are cautious about getting in over their heads.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy homes.

The latest proof: More than 84 percent of millennials believe homeownership “remains a core component of the American Dream,” according to a survey released this month from Clever Real Estate. The news comes on the heels of Bank of America reporting last year that millennials were placing “homeownership above nearly all else.”

For 23- to 40-year-olds “homeownership (73 percent) is second only to being able to retire (80 percent), and far outranks getting married (50 percent) and having children (44 percent),” the bank reported.

While we’re addressing stereotypes, millennials aren’t “lazy” either. But I’ll leave that for another column.

• • •

The Florida Chamber thinks the state is in for a good year.

The cynics among us will argue that the chamber’s mission is to paint a rosy picture of the state’s economy. If the chamber isn’t bullish, who will be?

With that caveat in mind, the business organization is predicting 150,000 new jobs in 2019. That’s solid growth, though not as good as 2018 when the state added more than 235,000 non-farm jobs. The chamber’s forecast also called for a low chance of a recession.

“If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy,” said Mark Wilson, the chamber’s president and CEO. “But … it’s not without risks.”

Those include a potential trade war, expanding tariffs and slowdowns in other economies. The chamber wants Florida to continue to diversify its economy, attract and retain talented workers and welcome new business and innovation.

• • •

Venture capital flowed in 2018.

Almost $131 billion worth in 8,949 separate deals went to U.S.-based startups, breaking the previous all-time high of $100 billion set in 2000, according to the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook, a financial data and software company.

As usual, California and Silicon Valley captured the bulk of the money. Florida got nearly $1.7 billion, most of it flowing into the greater Miami area.

Contact Graham Brink at [email protected] Follow @GrahamBrink.

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